Ars Technica writes:
Amazon opened up S3, its new online storage solution for web applications, and now you can store unlimited amounts of data on Amazon servers for US$.15 per gigabyte, paid monthly. S3 was purportedly built to support both Amazon’s own internal applications and the external users of the Amazon Web Services platform. That should be proper motivation to build a service that’s fast and robust enough for mission critical use, yet flexible enough to support any storage task thrown at it.
The storage space is accessed by standard SOAP and REST interfaces, and networking is handled by HTTP and BitTorrent protocols. The data streams are encrypted with customer-specific keys, and access rights are supposed to be granular enough to provide private or public storage object by object, and user by user. Apart from the storage fee, you pay $0.20 per gigabyte transferred, but there are no minimum fees and no setup costs, so you pay as you go. And the Amazon APIs overall are quite generic and should be usable for writing services that have nothing to do with Amazon per se. It’s a lightweight, scalable, flexible, and redundant storage solution, and Amazon says it’s secure, too.
So what can S3 do for you? Well, it can be used as a 15-cents-a-gig online backup drive, for instance, or backend storage for your homebrew data warehouse with distributed, reliable access from anywhere and on demand. Any application with storage needs could use something like S3, so you can think of it as a rent-an-NAS solution on a large scale.